As one of the world’s poorest countries, Nepal’s economy took a huge hit following the devastating earthquake in 2015 which killed thousands of people and damaged much of its infrastructure.
Employment has suffered, with many people flocking to the capital, Kathmandu, from rural parts of the country in search of work to support their families. ICS volunteers help to tackle this problem by working with young entrepreneurs in rural communities to help them develop their businesses.
Health is another focus of ICS in Nepal. As a volunteer, you could also be working to improve access to safe water and sanitation services or holding peer education, awareness raising and training sessions to help young people make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
ICS volunteers also work to ensure high standards of education across Nepal. Working with primary and secondary students as well as different community groups, you could be helping make sure children are receiving a quality education.
Supporting health initiatives
With Raleigh International, you’ll be focusing on improving access to safe water and sanitation services as well as trying to get communities to change their behaviour towards health and hygiene. You’ll also be contributing to positive change around gender, governance, school attendance and the environment.
With Restless Development, you could be raising awareness of health issues, especially those facing young women and girls, such as helping to tackle the stigma surrounding menstruation in rural Nepal, or spreading information about healthy pregnancies.
Helping people to support themselves and their families
Young people are moving from the rural areas towards the cities in search of work. Volunteers with Raleigh and VSO support young entrepreneurs from some of the poorest communities to develop their businesses and increase their income, by helping to develop business plans, access finance, and link up with mentors.
Volunteers with Restless Development could be working with 12 to 16-year-olds to give them more information about making the best choices for their future – whether that’s in further education, training in a vocation, or setting up their own business.
Living in Nepal
There are multiple project locations in Nepal including Lalitpur, Makwanpur, Gorkha, Dhading, Lamjung and Surkhet. All volunteers in Nepal live with host families, usually with one other volunteer.
As with other placements, volunteers living with host families will be expected to eat like a local. Nepalese food relies heavily on locally-grown ingredients and spices, with rice or lentils usually accompanying chunky vegetables, lean meat or fish.
It’s not just what happens on placement that counts. Volunteers plan and organise community projects and events like talent shows and sports tournaments as well as get involved with fundraising for infrastructure projects and renovations.